Michigan continues a monthlong decline in the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients.
State data shows a statewide drop since Friday of 203 adults and 22 pediatric patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected Covid infections. Monday's new totals still are substantial -- 4,145 adults and 107 children and adolescents in hospitals because of the two-year-old pandemic.
Hospitals in six Southeast Michigan counties had 2,224 adult pandemic patients Monday morning, 153 fewer than on Friday.
Separate data shows new cases remain high -- an average of 13,124 per day statewide for Saturday-Monday, for a three-day total of 39,372 newly confirmed Covid infections. Thirty-six Covid deaths were recorded during that span.
But the declining hospital figures confirm that fewer Michiganians with the virus need in-patient care.
"We’re coming down," Dr. Matthew Sims of Beaumont Health tells Michigan Radio. The infectious disease specialist adds:
"I want to see it continue. And the big question is: Is it going to go down like it did in prior surges, where it goes down to almost nothing? Or is it going to go down to where we were before this surge started, which was still in the hundreds? ...
"We've been doing this for over two years now. So you can only imagine, you know, just how much strain people have been under."
Since Jan. 3, the number of hospitalized Covid patients in the tricounty Detroit area and three adjoining counties has fallen by 351 adults (13.6%) and 22 pediatric cases (29%), according to Deadline Detroit records of past data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The statewide decline over the past three weeks is 87 adults (2%) and 52 children and teens (6.5%) -- much smaller proportionately than the regional change.
Metro Detroit's two largest hospital groups reflect the overall trend:
♦ Beaumont (eight hospitals): The 592 Covid patients Monday are 161 fewer than last Monday and 154 fewer than on Jan. 3.
♦ Henry Ford (five hospitals): Monday's 501 patients are 80 fewer than Jan. 17 and 35 fewer than three weeks ago on the year's third day.
Amid the encouraging declines, however, some Beaumont sites feel capacity strains related partly to the pandemic.
Covid patients occupied one-third of the 99 beds Monday at Beaumont Wayne, which had only eight unused in-patient beds, according to state figures. At the group's Dearborn hospital, 111 Covid patients contribute to a 96% occupancy rate. So do 49 Covid cases at the smaller Farmington Hills branch, which had just three vacant beds.